Copa America marred by midnight starts, toothbrushes
Pressure is mounting on CONMEBOL to explain why the Copa America’s games have been scheduled for the early hours of the morning, a decision which has blighted the competition.
Some of the world’s greatest players are on display in Chile, but few have been able to show what they are capable of due to the baffling decision to start games at midnight or later.
Chile’s heroic 2-1 victory over Peru to secure passage to the semi-finals was overshadowed by the majority of Peru’s defenders deciding to call it a night just before half-time, while the final 10 minutes were marred by repeated yawning from the stands, dugouts and pitch.
“It looked like a good thing because we would have the rest of the day free,” Chile’s Arturo Vidal, who was booked for getting cranky against Peru, told FourFourTwo.
“We thought it’d be fun, like a sleepover, but instead it’s just emotionally draining, like a sleepover. We’re all out there hoping we can secretly grab some shut-eye when it goes for a throw-in.”
Despite Robinho netting against Paraguay as part of a big night out in Concepción, Brazil saw their Copa America challenge fade after a sleepy Thiago Silva misjudged a Paraguay attack, believing it to be a good moment to brush his teeth.
“As a defender people only notice the mistakes,” the PSG stopper yawned.
“Nobody mentioned the perfectly brewed espresso I downed during the first 10 minutes or how I deftly slipped from my pyjamas to my shirt and shorts in the build-up to Robinho’s goal. They only remember the way my game ended in minty-fresh disgrace.”
The controversial scheduling must be counted as a major embarrassment for CONMEBOL and is one of the worst mistakes of its kind since the 2002 World Cup, where many games were played over hotel buffet breakfasts.